Herbs and spices have been a part of our diet throughout history. Their healing powers and health secrets have been discovered by our ancestors and recorded in medical journals. Natural remedies using herbs are useful in overall well-being as well as specific problems such as weight loss, indigestion, and treatment of acne. Though we love the added flavors and zero calories these herbs bring in, we don’t actively involve it as a part of our daily food habit either because we like to stick to traditional recipes or don’t have time to go scouting the extra mile for them. It’s time you start including these 10 herbs in your diet actively and see a difference in your quality of life
Parsley is one of the easiest herbs to include in your diet. All you need to do is stock up for the week and garnish your curries and creoles with it. Rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and C, this herb is good for the heart and reduces high blood pressure. You can even make this a star ingredient in chutneys and rolls
Sage gets its name from the Latin word Salvere, which means “to save.” Sage’s healing powers have always been well known so much so that in the Middle Ages, it was said to have prevented the plague. Sage is currently believed to boost brain function and recent studies have shown that it produced a significant improvement in brain function of those suffering from Alzheimer’s. Needless to say, it’s a great herb to include it in your diet.
Sage can be a great topping on an omelet. It can go with sandwiches and can be mixed with onions in a stuffing. It can make soups and even ice creams scrumptious.
Mint’s strong flavor makes it a great addition to dishes where you want to add a twist and zing. In the health department, this herb is known to improve pain management in irritable bowel syndrome. It also helps reduce abdominal bloating which is why mint is one of the key ingredients in several water-based weight loss drinks.
Mint can be infused in your tea to add flavor. It adds superb flavor to chutneys and can even be infused in bread for a better taste.
- Holy Basil
Basil is available in a variety of forms including Thai basil and lemon basil. The one that has greater health benefits is the Holy Basil considered sacred in India. Basil is known to boost the immune system, reduce blood sugar levels before and after meals treat anxiety and even beat the common cold.
Basil leaves can be chewed as is once during the day or infused along with your green / pepper tea for relief from a running nose.
Chamomile has some amazing properties that make it a must add to your daily routine. It reduces stress, tension, and inflammation in the bowel. It is also effective against eczema, gum disease, mouth ulcers and insomnia. It has been recently discovered that the antimicrobial activities of one of its key ingredients azulene can work to destroy bacteria that causes infection.
Have a cold? This is the herb you turn to. The key ingredient of Rosemary is rosemarinic acid which is shown to suppress allergic responses to nasal congestion.
The bitter-sweet flavor of its leaves lends itself to a wide variety of dishes. It can be crushed and used in stuffing, infused with olive oil to add a flavor, mixed with butter or greek yogurt for bread topping, and used as a topping for roasted fruits and vegetables. Here are 30 ways to ensure you never let Rosemary go waste again.
Did you know that Thymol, which is one of the key ingredients of Listerine originates from Thyme!
Thyme is a well-known herbal remedy for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, and it also has antiseptic properties. It is a great herb to grow indoors so that you have regular access to it. You can add it to flavor your soups and salads and just about any other recipe that suits your palate.
Lavender’s blue is power packed to drive away your blues. Its soothing fragrance can help you fall asleep while its antioxidants known as polyphenols help with curbing belly bloating. Lavender essential oil eliminates nervous tension, provides pain relief and enhances blood circulation. Its name originates from the latin word ‘lavare’ which means to wash, due to its clean aroma.
This is a herb that not many people actively use in cooking as you need to recognize the flavor that it can bring to a dish. You can add lavender to your honey roasted peaches. You can even add it to roasted vegetable dishes or mojitos and sorbets.
Cilantro is a staple in Mexican and Asian cosines. It is rich in fiber and iron and helps flush out heavy metals from our body. Also known as coriander, it also helps reduce ‘LDL’ or bad cholesterol from the blood. Cilantro is a great flavoring agent to most curries and can be added just as you finish cooking and turn off the heat. It is popularly used in chutney and base preparations for many dishes too.
This herb is freshness personified. It’s a great source of antioxidants (such as beta-carotene). It can add an amazing flavor to most vegetable dishes. The idea is to use it sparingly so that it doesn’t overpower the dish as a whole. You can use dill with eggs or add it as a topping for roasted potatoes. Dill is most famously used as in a creamy cheese dip.
Kavita is a certified sports & fitness nutritionist who loves to write about health and food on senseornosense.com. Before starting her blogging career she worked with Deloitte for 5 years. Other than writing, she also loves cooking a lot for her 4 years, young Son.